By Vernon Felton
15 years ago, my boss handed me this lowly Bondhus allen wrench set. I suppose I was that guy on rides who always looked dumbfounded when something begin creaking, wobbling or just flat-out falling apart. The Bondhus remedied that immediately. It is a simple device: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8-millimeter hex keys. That’s it. No chain-breakers. No knife blades. No phillips or flat-head screwdrivers. No saw. Sadly, no torx T25 or T20 bits.
In short, by today’s standards it’s a woefully under-equipped tool. The Bondhus is, as Obi-Wan might put it, “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”
And did I mention that the Bondhus is utterly lacking in sex appeal?
It is plastic. It is a dingy shade of red. It used to have the words “Bondhus” printed on the side, but years of hitching a ride in the sweaty back-pocket of my jersey wore that monikor completely off. When compared to the many brushed-aluminum, carbon fiber-clad tools of today, the Bondhus comes up short in the worst of ways.
And yet I love it.
I love this thing the way other people love puppies, and warm quilts and those loopy, feel-good Robert Redford movies about golfing or fly-fishing and the like.
Here is why I love it. It may only do one thing (tighten loose bolts) but the Bondhus does it supremely well.
Crankarms, pedal spindles, those tiny cable guides on Fox and RockShox forks–the Bondhus puts everything right that has a bolt on it. Moreover, it never fails. I’ve had fancy tools that rust, that grow gritty, that snap or just fall apart with time…the Bondhus, however, never fails. Never. I’ve used it as a hammer. I’ve dropped it from great heights. I’ve run over it with my Bronco more than a few times (no, really) and it’s still doing its thing.
Did I mention that these things cost about 10 bucks and can be picked up at just about any hardware store in the country? You can’t say that about any other tool on the market.